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Robots will patrol tourist hotspots to enforce social distancing
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Robots will patrol tourist hotspots to enforce social distancing

Robots are set to patrol tourist hotspots checking people are obeying social distancing rules under Brussels’ blueprint for the holidays of the future.

The EU Commission released a plan to get travel up and running across the continent yesterday that will see a radical overhaul of summer breaks.

Under it artificial intelligence may be deployed for crowd control, disinfecting public spaces, and to run smart booking systems.

Economy chief Paolo Gentiloni vowed: “Our message is we will have a tourist season this summer even if it’s with security measures and limitations.”

But getting away will be less comfortable with airports to be stripped of benches and tables, and catering scrapped for the foreseeable future.

Passengers will be asked to wear face masks and their movement on board, such as going to the toilet, will be restricted.

Carry on luggage could also be limited and people will be advised to arrive much earlier for flights to keep airports free from crowding.

Online check-in and e-tickets will be prioritized and access to baggage reclaim will be staggered to maintain social distancing.

Hotels will be advised to bring in online booking for slots at facilities like swimming pools and gyms to avoid overcrowding.

‘TOURISM WON’T BE RISK-FREE’

Social distancing will also be brought in outdoors at beaches and popular attractions to keep people at least 5 to 6.5-feet apart.

Tourists will be encouraged to download contact tracing apps which would be designed to work right across Europe.

And hotels will be asked to take people’s addresses and phone numbers so that they can be reached if an outbreak is detected.

Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said: “We know how much European citizens are looking forward to summer and to travel.

“Their huge sacrifices over the past months will make a cautious and gradual reopening possible – for now.

“But deconfinement and tourism will not be risk-free as long as the virus circulates among us.

“We need to maintain vigilance, physical distancing and rigorous health precautions across the whole tourism and transport ecosystem to prevent further outbreaks as much as possible.”

The guidelines are voluntary, with Member States holding the ultimate power over when and how to lift border restrictions and restart travel.

Under them those countries and regions with low infection rates and plenty of spare hospital capacity would be the first to open up again.

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